I am five and coming home from kindergarten. The day had been fun, I painted and sat on the bus with my best friend, Vivian. I walk up the twisting walkway toward the door of our two story home. White pillars stood proudly, displaying the front door like an entrance to a fantasy world, a gold knocker situated near the top. I push through the door and set my backpack down while kicking my shoes off. Hearing Mommy and Daddy talking in the kitchen, I creep down the hallway to scare them. As I get closer, I begin to make out what they are saying, but I don’t understand. Mommy is crying, Daddy is crying.
“He can’t do this.” Daddy calls out, his voice hoarse and tired.
“He’s threatening to bring us to court.” Mommy’s voice says and I lean against the door to hear them better. A chair moves and I hear footsteps walking around the hardwood of our kitchen floor.
“She’s our daughter, we have rights - she has rights.” Daddy insists. When Mommy says nothing, Daddy continues, “I was there through the pregnancy, I was there the day she was born, her first word, first step, first day of school-” He broke off as I slipped into the room, unable to listen anymore.
“Daddy, what’s wrong?” I questioned, looking between my parents. My father wiped away his tears and opened his arms to me. I eagerly ran into them, squeezing him around his middle.
“Nothing is wrong, Jaybird, everything is okay.” I smiled at his nickname for me and kissed his cheek. If my Daddy says things are okay, I don’t have to worry.
I awoke from my dream and sat up in the twin sized bed I was laying in. The walls were a sickly green color with blotches of water damage, a single painting of a flower hung on the wall. My heart beat hard in my chest, my breathing becoming erratic. I have no idea where I am and the last thing I remember was someone shoving fabric against my mouth until I fell asleep. The wooden floor was splintered and cracked, with a worn yellow rug topping it off to cover some of the damage. Still dressed in Dax’s white dress shirt, I stood and tiptoed to the door, slowly opening it to avoid any creaks or other noises. The coast was clear so I began my escape down the stairs where the smell of food wafted my nostrils. My belly grumbled with hunger as I made my way into what seemed to be a kitchen, a man stood cooking over the stove. From behind, the man looked normal, sporting a pair of jeans and a basic tee, his short silver hair slicked to the side. He flipped something in the pan, whistling a happy tune as he did.
“Good morning,” He spoke gingerly, spinning on his heel to face me. “I made breakfast.” He plated two eggs and a couple of slices of bacon, setting a fork at its side. I was frozen, my feet unable to move as I watched my kidnapper act so nonchalant. “Please sit.” He instructed, pointing to the chair with a spatula, plating his own food. Swallowing dryly, I slowly slid into the chair to avoid making him angry and stared down at the food. A smiley face of breakfast food stared back up at me and I wondered if he positioned them like this on purpose. “I’m sure you have questions.” I stayed quiet, my hands folded in my lap, clutching the excess fabric of Dax’s long sleeves. “You don’t have to be afraid of me, Jane.”
“If you want money, I have a trust that’s maturing in three years. If I call the bank right now, I’m sure I can get at least half of it matured right now.” I promised, my throat closing around each word.
“I don’t want your money, Sweetheart.” The man smiled almost lovingly toward me. I watched him dumbfounded for a moment, shaking my head. This man had camped out in Dax’s bedroom for who knows how long, and most definitely saw us doing adult activities. I squirmed uncomfortably at the thought of his prodding eyes, having had a full view of me losing my virginity to Dax.
“Who are you?” I finally found the courage to look him in the eyes, finding him oddly familiar. He paused for a long moment, swallowing a bite of food he had put into his mouth.
“Dorian Smith.” He replied softly, watching my face contort from fear to horror. I stood quickly, the wooden chair falling behind me as I booked for the door. Dorian beat me there, twisting the padlock shut. “Let me explain my side of the story and I think you-”
“You killed my family.” I hissed, tears brimming in my eyes. “You killed innocent people; you ruined my life.” From behind him, I looked into a sitting room where a window displayed a rugged landscaped with no other buildings in sight. Even if I could get away, where would I go? The shirt I sported smelled like Dax and I sent out a mental SOS to him.
“Please, Jane, just sit down and eat. I will explain everything.” Dorian gently grabbed my arm, pulling me back toward the kitchen. Heavy, hot tears rolled down my cheeks.
I was going to die.
It had been eighteen hours. I glanced at the phone at my temporary desk for the billionth time, hoping some sort of tip would come in, but it hadn’t rung once. The San Sebastian Bernal police department had welcomed me into their small facility with open arms. Their small staff was out scouring every building for Jane while my commanding officer order me to stay by the phone in case someone called in with a clue to where she could be. Not only was I pissed that I wasn’t out there looking for her myself, but I couldn’t help but relive the moment I realized she was gone, over and over as I sat in the silent room. I searched the entire house, called everyone I knew if they had seen her; I drove all night, down every street in hope of finding her. The station’s front door opened with a jingle and I raised my head in tired, helpless hope. But instead was met with disappointment.
“Camilia, not now.” I groaned, rubbing my eyes. Camilia was falling back into her old antics, keeping tabs on where I was, and coming at me with low cut tops and short skirts. The teenager she had manipulated years ago would’ve had her on this desk in seconds. But a man in love only has eyes for his girl, and my girl was missing.
“I heard about your little friend,” She leaned forward over the desk, pressing her breasts together. “Can I do anything to help?” I averted my eyes, unamused by her bullshit games.
“You can get the fuck out.” I pointed to the door, my jaw clenched in irritation. Between the four pots of coffee and no sleep, I had no patience for anyone, much less Camilia.
“Oh D, you don’t mean that.” She purred, her index fingers tapping the bottom of my chin. I looked into her eyes, searching for that irrational feeling of infatuation I felt as a seventeen year old wrapped around her finger. I found nothing.
“Camilia, I swear, if don’t have any information about Jane, I will throw you out on your ass myself.” I growled, slamming my fists against the desk. She jumped, taking a step back before looking at her feet.
“I do have information,” She muttered, “After I noticed you had left the party, I drove over to your parent’s house to see if you had gone home.” I watched her intensely, my eyes following her every movement. “And as I was about to pull into the driveway, I saw a man lifting your friend into a car. He drove away really quick.”
“Do you remember what kind of car?” I searched rapidly for a radio, finally finding one at the sheriff’s desk.
“A yellow Ford Cortina with a dent in the passenger door; the thing looked straight out of the eighties.” I quickly called in the tip, telling all units that we were in search for an old yellow Ford Cortina with a dent in the passenger door. After twenty minutes, one of the deputies brought in tapes from local traffic cameras, showing a car that matched Camilia’s description. I smiled at the monitor, pausing the tape as I saw a familiar face come into view.
“I’ve got you now, motherfucker.”